Heart of Kentucky United Way Education and Economic Development are keys to our future

Published 12:43 pm Thursday, October 25, 2018

DANVILLE — It is hard to believe we recently kicked off another school year. The beginning of fall and the academic year feels like a time of renewal. This is not only true for our students and educators, but I believe for the entire community.

The future of Lincoln County is driven by education and economic development. They are both important and the power of one helps strengthen the other.

When one thinks of the best-performing cities in the U.S. in terms of economic growth and stability, Provo, Utah probably isn’t the first place to come to mind. But the Milken Institute, a non-profit think tank, rated Provo as its 2017 Best-Performing City ahead of Dallas, Atlanta and Charlotte, N.C. It was given high marks for its growth, employment and business opportunities. Between 2011 and 2016, Provo added 5,500 high-tech jobs.

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Provo is not a large city. It has approximately the same number of residents as Lincoln, Garrard, Mercer and Boyle, counties combined.

For what it lacks in size, it capitalizes upon its strong schools (including Brigham Young University) and a high educational attainment rate. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 92 percent of Provo residents have a high school diploma or GED, and 41 percent have a college degree.

To realize a stronger community and help individuals, families and businesses, Farmers National Bank invests in education and economic development. This includes monetary donations to local school districts as well as volunteer time, such as our employees providing financial literacy and career readiness lessons to students. The bank also supports area colleges in our region including those that offer technical training.

To encourage a good business climate and job growth, the bank supports civic organizations such as the Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce and the Stanford Rotary Club.

Farmers National Bank also supports the Heart of Kentucky United Way. The United Way serves thousands of local residents in many ways, including education, self-sustainability and financial empowerment, which leads to vibrant economic development. A great way to give back is by volunteering at a local school or donating your time to help a civic organization. Forinstance, the Heart of Kentucky United Way has many ways you can help: read to a child, be a mentor to a high school student, or teach financial literacy courses to hard-working families.

We are blessed to have a strong community and sound leadership. There is, however, much room for improvement to compete with other communities for job growth. To become an even better place to live and work, we need everyone’s help.

We can each play an important role in making our community better. Let’s make a difference this school year.